Monday November 12th, 2012

The exercise:

Write something to do with: ancient magic.

Woke up to snow this morning. It's mostly gone now, but I did manage to get a few pictures before the melting became too serious. Like this one:

Can't say what Max thought of it all, as he was completely oblivious to anything that didn't involve eating, sleeping, or dirtying his diaper.


There was a change in the air after the words had been spoken, as though something previously slumbering had awoken and had begun breathing deeply. A newly arrived breeze brought with it the scents of damp earth, burned wood, and rotting fish.

A sense of unease crept its way through the gathered men, their hooded heads turning this way and that. Searching for the source of this atmospheric alteration. For that which they had summoned.

They did not have to wait long.

Beneath their feet the earth began to shake, causing the less agile among the men to fall to the ground with muffled curses. Anxiety shifted to excitement as the knowledge that they had succeeded in their attempts dawned on each participant in the ceremony.

But then all returned to stillness, the air back to its normal state. The fallen were lifted back to their feet. Confusion blossomed. Accusations soon followed.

A mistake had been made, some minor detail overlooked. Someone would be held accountable. Perhaps a public flogging would be required.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps, instead, there was a great rushing of water and cracking of stone and the earth opened wide to swallow the men whole. Perhaps their screams were muted by the rejoining of soil, leaving no trace of their ever having been there.

Yes, perhaps.


Greg said...

The snow on the apples ia a lovely picture. It was definitely worth getting out there in the cold to get that picture. And yeah... I reckon you've got a little while yet before Max starts paying attention to things, and then you'll be spending all your time identifying things for him :)
I like the story today, with its suggestion that your ancient magic is rather uncontrollable and invoked at your own risk. I'm also terribly curious as to what your summoners hope to be evoking!

Ancient magic
"This flying carpet..."
"Ah, very best carpet you can buy Sir! Superb handling, corners like a djinni is chasing it, and would you look at the design on it! That is some seriously Persian carpet!"
"Yes, you told me all this last week when I bought it."
"No refunds."
"Yes, no refunds. I have a couple of questions about it though. You told me it was new?"
"New to my shop Sir. As you can see from the design, very Persian, very Persian, the carpet itself is very old. Very, very old. Antique, probably more valuable than your realise. In fact, I think I may have undercharged you when you boug–"
"Yes, I get it, it's old and valuable. The magic bit of it though, the stuff that makes it fly. Is that old too?"
"Ancient, Sir. Magic created by people before they'd created language."
"How do you know that? Actually no, don't answer, I don't care. It explains my problem though."
"What problem is that Sir? I assure you, it's not a problem with this lovely, luxurious Persian carpet, it will be a problem with the driver!"
"No, Sir?"
"No. You see, the problem is that when I spread my arms like this, that djinni you talking about it being chased by when cornering appears. Just like that in fact."
"Yes. Yes, I count myself lucky to have gotten away with just three wishes. Anyway, I think he'd like to talk to you."

morganna said...

Greg -- I love the scene! I can see it all. I wonder what happens next ...
Dare not speak its name,
Lest it come and find you.
Yet you can hear it,
Creeping round the halls at midnight.
When you hear the creaking pass,
Stay safe in your room
Do not open the door,
Or it will get you!

morganna said...

I wrote the above poem, and then I wrote a story about it too. You can read it on my blog: Dunkling Hall

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I need to get some decent answers ready for the inevitable 'why is the sky blue?' type questions.

Hmm, sounds like a prompt idea...

Impressed with how much you're able to convey here using only dialogue. It's a great scene :D

Morganna - fun little poem, and absolutely love the story extension you added at your blog.

Particularly the bit with the older boys grabbing the new arrivals as they move in. I could picture that perfectly - so sinister!